When you are working with a sponsor, communication is key. Whether you talk by email or phone, it's important to communicate early and openly. The following information will help you and your sponsor get the most out of the sponsorship program.
What should I tell my sponsor?
Don't expect your sponsor to know what you need. If you can provide information about your family and your transition, your sponsor will be able to target resources and information to suit your needs.
- Your family - Tell your sponsor about your family, including information about your spouse and the ages of your children. Let your sponsor know if anyone in your family has special needs, such as asthma, another chronic health condition or if your child is on an Individualized Education Program or Individualized Family Services Plan. Also, talk about any pets you are planning to bring along.
- Arrival needs - Let your sponsor know about your immediate needs, such as temporary housing, an automobile or child care.
- Housing - Talk about the types of available housing, including installation housing, rentals or homes for sale.
- Date and time of arrival - Let your sponsor know the date and time of your arrival. Also, discuss how you will be arriving - by plane, train, metro or car.
- Special information - If you have any other specific concerns, be sure to let your sponsor know.
What should I ask my sponsor?
Your sponsor will be able to answer many of your questions about your duty station and assist you as you make the transition. Read your welcome packet, check out Military OneSource and prepare a list of questions about your new duty station. Here are some things you might want to ask about:
- Your sponsor's family - Knowing if they are single, married or have children will help you know what types of information they may be familiar with.
- Area-specific information - Ask your sponsor about the local area, such as things to do or employment opportunities for your spouse.
- Schools - Your sponsor may have firsthand information on local schools for your children. You will also want to ask about the school liaison officer on your new installation and anyone else who can provide specifics on local school options.
- Temporary lodging - You'll want to ask about temporary lodging facilities and clarify reservation arrangements. Also, inquire about restaurants and other amenities close to lodging.
- Contact information on your new installation - Your sponsor can put you in touch with installation services you may need, such as the Exceptional Family Member Program, the housing office or the Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program.
- Housing options - Your sponsor will probably know the ins and outs of installation housing and off-installation neighborhoods.
- Child care - Your sponsor can check into child care options, both on and off the installation.
- Community tour - Once you have arrived, your sponsor can show you around the installation and the local community. Be sure to ask about specific places that may be important to your family.
- Overseas information - If you're moving overseas, ask about information specific to your host country, such as currency exchange, cost of living, schools, child care, culture, climate and what you should or should not bring with you.